Scania stands alone
The truck maker will stay independent within VW, writesGRAHAMSMITH
IT’S business as usual at Scania with little or no change after being acquired by VW. That was the view of Stephan Schaller, chief executive officer of VW Commercial Vehicles, and a member of the Scania board, and Scania’s CEO Leif Oestling when they were asked about VW’s plans for the Swedish truck maker at the recent Hanover truck show.
Both agreed VW would keep Scania as a premium truck brand and would not — as had been feared — merge it with VW’s Commercial Vehicles operation.
Industry scuttlebutt had it that VW would merge Scania with its own commercial vehicles and rebadge Scania trucks as VWs.
But Schaller was quick to refute the suggestion, saying VW would maintain Scania as an independent brand, just as it does with Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini.
Absorbing Scania into VW Commercial Vehicles will risk damaging the brand, Schaller tells Big Wheels at Hanover.
‘‘It is our (VW’s) intention to make Scania the ninth brand in our group. Scania is a jewel in the truck industry and we definitely will not do anything that damages it,’’ he says.
‘‘In fact, just the opposite, we will do everything we can to strengthen the brand. The brand is the most valuable thing we have.’’
Schaller also rejects the idea VW may export its Brazil-made Constel- lation trucks to Europe or Australia.
The Constellation is designed for developing markets like South America, Asia and Africa, he says, and does not meet the requirements of governments or customers for developed markets such as Europe and Australia.
Oestling says the VW takeover is a friendly one that will secure the future of the Swedish truck maker.
He says that under VW ownership Scania will stand alone in heavytrucks, just as VW’s other brands retain their individuality.
While predicting a settled future for Scania within VW, Oestling says the company’s Australian arm is in for a period of calm after three new managing directors within two years.
Oestling apologises for the management changes.
‘‘We have been changing too much, but the guy there now will be staying for some years. I am very sorry for the changes, but it was not planned that way,’’ he says.
Boy from Brazil: the VW Constellation truck is destined for developing markets.